Montel Williams, a low-paid worker, welcomed this new initiative from the Government.
He said: “Any increase is good enough for anyone. I know a lot of people who work hard to make a living with the minimum wage.”
Williams said the $8.00 rate was positive news for those who needed the increase.
The consecutive increases in July 2019 and July 2020 come after the Minimum Wage Review Panel presented a list of recommendations to Internal Affairs Minister Mac Mokoroa, who sought approval from Cabinet.
The Minister said that by making an announcement now about the rise to $8 an hour, employers would have time to plan ahead.
After a series of constructive meetings between the panel members throughout the month of January and February this year, information was gathered and discussed in light of previous reports and the present day realities for all the workers in the Cook Islands.
In addition, the general public was invited to submit written and oral submissions to the attention of the panel.
Cabinet has signed off Mokoroa’s recommendation, and ordered the next increase to the minimum wage take effect on July 1 2020.
“It is important to proceed to a gradual increase to allow employers time to plan ahead,” Mokoroa said.
“We remain the highest minimum wage in the region, after New Zealand and Australia, so we are doing good progress in improving decent and fair working conditions.
“The upcoming review of the minimum wage policy and methodology will provide the country with a way forward into the new decade, where the minimum wage is better aligned to our development and economic progress.